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Consciousness after clinical death. The biggest ever scientific study published

Posted on 25 August 2015, 15:11

Tags: brain, consciousness, death, drugs, hearts, hospitals, life, patients, recall, research, researchers, resuscitation

Southampton University scientists have found evidence that awareness continue for at least several minutes after clinical death which was previously thought impossible.

A recent article in British newspaper The Daily Mail (1) featured an interview with Dr. Sam Parnia, with the lead “Consciousness may continue even after death, scientists now believe”. Sam Parnia is head of a multidisciplinary team at Southampton University (United Kingdom) who published a study in the Oficial Journal of European Resuscitation Council, with the title “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study” (DOI: (3) which included more than 2,000 persons who suffered a cardiac arrest and successfully responded to resuscitation treatment, in 15 hospitals in the United Kingdom, United States and Austria. This is the largest study of its kind to date, using rigorous methodology, in order to exclude all those cases that could be based on individual impressions that are worthy, but which hold no scientific interest.

Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief at Reuscitation Journal, who did not participate in the study but is considered an authority on the subject, said of the research, “Dr. Parnia and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.” (2)

Consciousness after clinical death: “Whether it fades away afterwards, we do not know”

The results revealed that 40% of those who survived a cardiac arrest were aware during the time that they were clinically dead and before their hearts were restarted. Dr. Parnia, in the interview stated: “The evidence thus far suggests that in the first few minutes after death, consciousness is not annihilated. Whether it fades away afterwards, we do not know, but right after death, consciousness is not lost. We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating. But in this case conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted. but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events”.

The study director continued, saying that, “A total of 2060 cardiac arrest patients were studied. Of that number, 330 survived and 140 said that they had been partly aware at the time of resuscitating”. Of these latter, states Parnia, “thirty-nine per cent […] described a perception of awareness, but did not have any explicit memory of events”, which suggests, according to Dr. Parnia, that “more people may have mental activity initially but then lose their memories, either due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall”.

He continued, saying: ” One in five said they had felt an unusual sense of peacefulness while nearly one third said time had slowed down or speeded up. Some recalled seeing a bright light; a golden flash or the Sun shining.

Others recounted feelings of fear or drowning or being dragged through deep water. 13 per cent said they had felt separated from their bodies and the same number said their sensed had been heightened.”

Parnia believes that, “contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment, but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning.”

Exploring objectively what happens when we die

The study director said,  “In this study we wanted to go beyond the emotionally charged yet poorly defined term of “near death experiences” to explore objectively what happens when we die. While it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence – two percent – of explicit recall of visual awareness or so called out of body experiences), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area”.

Finally, we cite the opinion of David Wilde, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University (United Kingdom), who is currently compiling data on out-of-body experiences, in an attempt to define a pattern which links each episode, says “Most studies look retrospectively, 10 or 20 years ago, but the researchers went out looking for examples and used a really large sample size, so this gives the work a lot of validity. “There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died. We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that.” (The Thelegraph, October 7 2014)

In our opinion, the study led by Parnia merits special attention, because of its scientific rigor and the prudence of its conclusions, which are supported by scientifically proven facts. We hope that this study can also be extended to those who have been diagnosed as brain dead and have come back to life.

1. Daily mail (7 October, 2014).
2. The Telegraph UK (07 October, 2014).
3. Medical Journal Resuscitation, “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study”

Bioethics News Bot | Jul 8, 2015 |


Posted on 09 May 2015, 11:15

Alex Tsakiris of Skeptiko interviews Dr. Bernardo Kastrup, author of Brief Peeks Beyond about the shortcomings of science’s reigning paradigm of materialism.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Dr. Bernardo Kastrup to discuss his work on the nature of consciousness and the widespread influence of materialism:

Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: You see we always start from the fact that we are conscious. Consciousness is the only carrier of reality and existence that we can know. Everything else is abstraction; [they] are inferences we make from consciousness. But our culture is driven by this notion that the real reality is outside consciousness. It’s a material universe fundamentally independent of consciousness, and that our inner lives, our subjective experiences arise from specific arrangements of material in this abstract world outside mind. That’s the philosophy of materialism that underlies most academic work and underlies most of science as you know it today. But it also underlies the value system of our culture, our economic system…For instance, if matter is the only real reality, consciousness being just a transient, temporary side effect, then what meaning can there be to life but to accumulate material goods? That feeds right into the economic system and feeds right into loops of reinforcement of existing power structures.

So this metaphysical view of the world entailed by the philosophy of materialism determines not only what happens in academia, and what your kids learn in school, but largely determines everything: The culture around your relationships at work; the way we deal with the environment; the meaning of our lives or at least how we see the meaning of our lives; how we spend our time; how we spend our money; how we see our relationships; and who we maintain in power.

Read Excerpts From The Interview:

Dr. Kastrup delineates his theory about consciousness with biologist Dr. Jerry Coyne’s perspective who openly chastised Kastrup–[10min.22sec-13min.08sec]

Alex Tsakiris: I want to talk about some of these responses you have to the materialist position. And a lot of these we should say have come about through your dialogues with some folks. I’ll start out with the first one: well-known biologist Dr. Jerry Coyne who for some reason is really highly regarded in the evolutionary biology circles. He’s really not that smart of a guy I think. But here’s an example of the criticism that Coyne lays out and then we’ll hear what Bernardo has to say about it. Here is the quote from Coyne: “It’s untenable to maintain that there is no reality independent of consciousness for there is plenty of evidence about what was going on in the universe before consciousness evolved.”

Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: He actually wrote this in a very disparaging tone while criticizing something I had written. And he wrote it as if it was so obvious and I was so stupid for not seeing this. How dare I write these things without noticing that it can be so easily debunked. That was quite fun when I saw that.

Alex Tsakiris: Explain what’s false about “the miracle of the evolution of consciousness.”

Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: It begs the question very clearly–it’s a form of circular reasoning. You see the very point in contention is whether consciousness is generated by material arrangements in the form of biology, or whether consciousness is fundamental material arrangements arising within consciousness which is the point that I make. When Coyne says “oh, there has been plenty of evidence for the dynamics of the universe before consciousness arose,” he’s begging the question by assuming that consciousness arose with life within the context of an inanimate material universe outside consciousness. In other words, he’s assuming his conclusion in order to argue for that conclusion. The position of idealism is consciousness always existed because it is the medium of existence. Everything arises as excitations of consciousness. Even life–life being dissociated aspects of this one medium of consciousness. So there was a universe before life arose and that universe unfolded as the dynamics of consciousness as well. Before life, a specific type of consciousness dynamics arose within it. There is no problem in the idealist position about it and there is all kinds of trouble in the way Coyne argued because he just begs the question very clearly.

Citing another example from the book, Dr. Kastrup illuminates the simple-minded approach of materialists in tackling the big philosophical questions–[21min.25sec-23min.37sec]

Alex Tsakiris: Okay, Bernardo. Let me move on to another couple of criticisms and here’s one of my favorites because it really captures the lack of deep thinking that always seems to accompany this goofy materialism. I hate to say it so conclusively but we’ve both been doing this for a long time, and you go down these rutted roads that have been so well worn that after a while you see it coming. But you label this as criticism #14: Why would consciousness deceive us by simulating a materialist world?

Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: It is a precious one, isn’t it?

Alex Tsakiris: It is precious in the same way that a child says something, and it’s just precious. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but you just have to marvel at it.

Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: There is so much prejudice imbedded in it in a way that people are not self-reflectively aware of it. It’s amazing. As I write in the book, why did the sun deceive us for so many centuries by pretending to go around the Earth? Why did the Earth itself deceive us for so long by pretending to be flat? It’s the same kind of question as asking why is the universe deceiving us by pretending materialism to be correct? It’s not the universe. The universe it what it is. The sun has always been doing what it always did. The Earth has always been spheroid since it’s formation. Nothing is deceiving anything. The only thing that’s deceiving is ourselves. Materialists are deceiving themselves by interpreting the world according to a certain perspective, certain implicit, hidden assumptions. And they are so committed to that, thinking so much within the box, when they are pushed out of the box they ask this kind of question. Why is the world deceiving me by pretending materialism to be true? Yeah, ask the sun why it deceived us by pretending to go around the Earth. It’s the same kind of question. Continued.

ISIS Fighter Converts to Christianity After Near Death Experience

Posted on 11 March 2015, 10:48

I can’t be sure if the Aleppo Herald exists or if Hermann Groschlin is a genuine Iranian Christian priest, however, it’s an interesting story.

An ISIS jihadist has recently converted to Christianity after being left for dead near the Eastern border of Syria where he was finally rescued by Christian missionaries from the region, reports the Aleppo Herald this morning.

Mohabat News reported - The man, that has miraculously survived multiple gun shot wounds after an altercation between ISIS and Syrian Army forces, was rescued by members of the Saint Dominican Catholic Presbytery of Ayyash hours after the conflict had erupted.

The members of the Christian organization wanted to give the man a proper Christian burial and carried him over 26 kilometers before the man miraculously came back to life as he was believed to have died from his wounds.

As the man came back to his senses, he reported to priest Hermann Groschlin of the visions he had whilst in the afterlife, an event that profoundly changed the 32-year old jihadist and eventually led to his conversion to Christianity days later.

“He told me that he was always taught that to die as a martyr would open him the Gates of Jannah, or Gates of Heaven” recalled the priest. “Yet, as he had started to ascend towards the light of the Heavens, devilish entities, or Jinns he called them, appeared and led him to the fiery pits of Hell. There he had to relive all the pain he had inflicted upon others and every death he had caused throughout his entire life. He even had to relive the decapitations of his victims through their own eyes”, images the jihadist claims will haunt him for the rest of his life, admits the priest.


Doc Visited Heaven During a Near-Death Experience and What She Learned Haunted Her for Years

Posted on 10 February 2015, 11:44

Dr. Mary Neal, an orthopedic spine surgeon who describes herself as a “concrete thinker” who isn’t “fanciful” and doesn’t exaggerate, spent a long time trying to explain a seemingly inexplicable event that unfolded back in 1999 following a near-death experience.

After almost drowning during a kayaking accident while on a trip to Chile — and supposedly going without oxygen for 24 minutes — Neal remarkably survived without sustaining any brain damage.

And as if that weren’t miraculous enough, she claims that she visited heaven, interacted with spirits and was warned about her son’s death 10 years before it happened — an experience that left her confused and in awe.

When Neal recovered from her traumatic accident, she said that she found herself on a journey seeking answers, wondering whether she had imagined the entire heavenly ordeal.

“I really needed to figure out what I had experienced. I have gone through the process of coming up with alternative explanations,” the doctor told OWN TV’s “In Deep Shift,” noting that she considered the possibility of dreams and hallucinations. ”We always want to find an explanation that we can understand other than something that is divine. I am a very concrete thinker. I’m not fanciful. I don’t exaggerate.”

Parallel universes DO exist, theory claims

Posted on 03 November 2014, 15:43

‘Parallel universes DO exist’: Multiple versions of us are living in alternate worlds that interact with each other, theory claims

Imagine a world where dinosaurs hadn’t become extinct, Germany had won World War II and you were born in an entirely different country.
These worlds could exist today in parallel universes, which constantly interact with each other, according to a group of US and Australian researchers.
It may sound like science fiction, but the new theory could resolve some of the irregularities in quantum mechanics that have baffled scientists for centuries.

The team from Griffiths University and the University of California suggest that rather than evolving independently, nearby worlds influence one another by a subtle force of repulsion.
They claim that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about how particles operate on a microscopic scale.
Quantum mechanics is notoriously difficult to fathom, exhibiting weird phenomena which seem to violate the laws of cause and effect.
‘The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957,’ said Howard Wiseman, a professor in Physics at Griffith University.
‘In the well-known ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’‘, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made.


We May Be Living in the Matrix, Says Engineer

Posted on 03 November 2014, 15:29

The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In “Beyond Science” Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.

Jim Elvidge will discuss his observations on how our world is like a computer program at the Follow the Truth: The Conspiracy Show Summit in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, on Nov. 16. The summit will bring together researchers exploring the power of the mind, past lives, time travel, and more.

Our world isn’t necessarily a computer program designed by parasitic futuristic robots like in the movie “The Matrix.” But it does bear a striking resemblance to a digital simulation or computer program, according to engineer Jim Elvidge.

Elvidge has worked with cutting-edge digital technology for decades. He holds a masters degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University as well as multiple patents in digital signal processing, and he has published papers about remote sensing and other related topics in peer-reviewed journals. Combining his knowledge of digital systems with quantum mechanics, Elvidge has found that we may be living in something like a computer program.


Earth’s Magnetic Field is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now.

Posted on 21 October 2014, 15:42

First hint of ‘life after death’ in biggest ever scientific study

Posted on 07 October 2014, 14:08

Death is a depressingly inevitable consequence of life, but now scientists believe they may have found some light at the end of the tunnel.
The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely.

It is a controversial subject which has, until recently, been treated with widespread scepticism.

But scientists at the University of Southampton have spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria.

And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted.


Shooting begins on Movie based on Guy Playfair’s Book, “This House is Haunted”

Posted on 11 September 2014, 12:20

Sky Living, the channel responsible for Most Haunted, is getting into drama that goes bump in the night with The Enfield Haunting, starring Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson and Matthew Macfadyen.
The three-parter is based on Guy Lyon Playfair’s book This House is Haunted and will be directed by Kristoffer Nyholm, the Dane whose credits include The Killing and Lars von Trier’s The Idiots and Breaking the Waves.

Playfair, a paranormal investigator, originally published the book in 1980 after researching the veracity of claims of poltergeist activity in a house in Enfield in the late 1970s.

He will be played by Macfadyen, with Spall playing fellow paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse. Stevenson is taking the role of Grosse’s wife Betty. Continued

Near-death experiences are overwhelmingly peaceful

Posted on 01 July 2014, 8:18

Near-death experiences are rare, but if you have one, it is likely to be overwhelmingly peaceful, however painful it might have been to get to that stage. This is the conclusion from the first study into how the cause of trauma affects the content of a near-death experience.

Such episodes are often described as emotionally rich, involving out-of-body sensations, tunnels of light and flashbacks. They most often occur when a person has been resuscitated after a traumatic event.

Steven Laureys, a neuroscientist at the University of Liège in Belgium who works with people in comas and vegetative states, started to investigate after his patients told him of their own near-death experiences. “I kept hearing these incredible stories in my consultations,” he says. “Knowing how abnormal brain activity is during a cardiac arrest or trauma, it was impressive how rich these memories were. It was very intriguing.”

There are several hypothesises as to how these events arise, such as lack of oxygen to the brain or damage to areas that control emotion. “So you’d expect to see differences between near-death experiences after drowning and those of other traumas,” he says.

His team looked at 190 documented events that resulted from traumas including cardiac arrest, drowning, head injury and high anxiety. Using statistical analysis and a measurement called the Greyson scale to assess the number and intensity of different features of the near-death experiences, the team discovered that surprisingly, the reports shared many similarities.

Not like the movies

The most common feature was an overwhelming feeling of peacefulness. The next most common was an out-of-body experience. And many people felt a change in their perception of how time was passing. There were only a few examples of negative experiences. “It turns out to be not so bad to have a dying experience,” says Laureys.

Having a life flashback or a vision of the future – the kinds of things often depicted in Hollywood movies – were only reported by a small minority of people.

Laureys’s team will now try to find an objective measure of such experiences by scanning the entire brains of people who say they have just had a near-death experience after a cardiac arrest. The team will look for small scars that might reflect the after-effects of the event.

Laureys is aware of the difficulties in investigating something so subjective, but is trying to tackle the subject with an open mind. “We need to accept there are many things we don’t understand, but it’s important to apply the best scientific method we can” he says. “It’s a first step in understand something that is really interesting and could ultimately provide a better understanding of consciousness.”

Journal reference: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00203

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PYRAMIDS AND PYRAMID ENERGY by George Moss – Who built the first pyramids and when?—and to fulfil what purpose? These are basic questions of prime importance that should ideally have been addressed years ago; but sadly, there has been far too much conjecture and little in the way of constructive thought. There have been reasons for the latter; relating largely to a strictly materialist attitude, to adverse political agenda and to the inherent dependencies that govern project funding. Read here
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